Plant-derived foods are the main cause of food allergy in Italian adults, and pine nut seems to be a relevant allergen. Allergy to pine nut is frequently severe and can affect children. Patients can become sensitized through airborne transmission. Pine nuts are found in sweets, cookies, and pasta seasoned with pesto sauce, yet little is known about pine nut allergens. Several proteins of different molecular weights (17 kDa; 30, 44, and 50 kDa; and <14 kDa) have been detected. A 6-kDa albumin and a 50-kDa vicilin were recently shown to be major allergens, and surprisingly uniform IgE reactivity to 5 allergens ranging between 6 kDa and 47 kDa was detected in 5 children. We investigated the main pine nut allergens in Italian patients.
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